Translator Survey 30th March 2010

Translator Survey 30th March 2010

We asked 1000 translators who have translated a minimum of 1500 words for TranslateMedia in the last 4 years to fill in a very quick questionnaire of just five questions.

The questions were aimed at giving context to the development of our online, secure translation tool, and also to get a better idea of activities and attitudes towards machine translation.

The results were taken after the translators had been given one week to respond.

Translators Emailed: 1000
Responses: 608
Response Rate: 60.8%

98% of the translators surveyed are online while they translate, which means that the vast majority will have no problem connecting to the online tool we are working on. Phew!

Always interesting to ask and see the results of this question. Translation Memory is used consistently by 78% of the surveyed translators.

We asked this in order to guide some decisions on whether to use tags, and to what extent, in our tool. We’d love to get rid of them, even though 77% of the group are familiar with them.

An interesting question considering trends being reported in the localisation industry. 21% of our translators have been editing machine translation. More than we expected, in all honesty.

Surprisingly 66% percent of the group suggested they would be willing to try this. The remaining 34% voiced some serious issues; some languages are not treated well, some pairs work less well than others, and in those cases where retranslation was needed, whats the point?


  • We confirmed that our translators work online, and are using Translation Memory tools regularly. No big surprises there.
  • Editing of machine translation is happening in the industry; its not a myth, and is being adopted.
  • Translators are more open minded about it than we might have expected. Certainly five years ago we would have expected the results of the last question to be very different…


We’ll continue to test MT and monitor this. A big thanks to all the translators who took part in the survey, we’d be nowhere without you guys. 

Anyone wanting more information is welcome to contact me directly – 

Written by Matt Train
Matt Train
Matt Train is Operations Director at TranslateMedia - responsible for working with clients and system integration partners to advise, plan, and deliver multilingual digital content for international brands and content publishers.

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